The aim of this text is to uncover the paradoxes that riddle psychoanalysis today and trace them to Freud's vacillation at key points in his work and from there to a traumatic event in Freud's life. What role did censored family history play in shaping Freud's psychological inquiries, promoting and impeding them by turns? With this question in mind, Nicholas Rand and Maria Torok develop a biographical and conceptual approach to psychoanalysis, one that outlines Freud's contradictory theories of mental functioning against the backdrop of his permanent lack of insight into crucial and traumatic aspects of his immediate family's life.;Taking us through previously unpublished documents and Freud's dreams, his clinical work and institutional organization, the authors show how an event in 1865 can help explain the internal clashes that later beset his work on the origins of neurosis, reality, trauma, fantasy, sexual repression, the psychoanalytic study of literature, and dream interpretation. This book offers a guide to the wary, a way of understanding the flaws and contradictions of Freud's thought without losing sight of its significance.